- - Sunday, April 1, 2012

PENNSYLVANIA

HARRISBURG The widow of a teacher from central Pennsylvania who was killed in Yemen two weeks ago says the family knew the risks of living there but never felt threatened.

Joel Shrum, 29, of Mount Joy was gunned down March 18 in the central city of Taiz, where he had been studying Arabic and teaching English. The Yemen branch of al Qaeda claimed responsibility, saying he had been trying to spread Christianity in the mainly Muslim Arab nation.

Janelle Shrum tells the Associated Press in an email that she and her family had left Yemen for a few months last year but felt safe in their neighborhood and avoided violent areas.

She remembered her husband as “a wonderful, devoted husband” who was “an amazing father” to their two young boys.

WEST VIRGINIA

Memorial service remembers victims of fire

ST. ALBANS Hundreds have turned out for a memorial service to remember six of the nine victims of a deadly West Virginia house fire last weekend.

The crowd gathered Saturday at Maranatha Fellowship Church to remember 26-year-old Alisha Carter-Camp and her three children, ages 3 to 8, along with two of Carter-Camp’s nephews, ages 3 and 18 months.

The Rev. Darren Powell told mourners “anytime that someone loses their life in a tragedy such as this, it is very heavy. But then when you multiply that by six different people, it’s even heavier than usual.”

Seven children and two adults died in the early-morning fire in Charleston, about 11 miles east of the church. The blaze tore through the two-story home hours after the last guest had left Ms. Carter-Camp’s 26th birthday party. She had rented the home.

The cause remains under investigation.

TEXAS

Groups work to save aging trail-marking trees

DALLAS The pecan tree, more than 300 years old, stands out from the others in a forested area of Dallas, a 25-foot segment of its trunk slightly bowed and running almost parallel to the ground before jutting high up into the sky.

It, like numerous others across the country known as Indian marker trees or trail trees, was bent in its youth by American Indians to indicate such things as a trail or a low-water creek crossing.

Those working to identify the trees say their mission is becoming more urgent as the years pass and more are being lost to old age.

The Georgia-based nonprofit group Mountain Stewards has been compiling a database of the trees, so far documenting about 1,850 trees in 39 states.

PENNSYLVANIA

Priest trial reveals church abuse strategy

PHILADELPHIA Experts say a landmark priest-abuse trial in Philadelphia is revealing how the Catholic Church handled complaints about accused predators.

Albany Law School professor Timothy Lytton says that may be as important as the verdict.

Monsignor William Lynn is charged with endangering children by keeping predators in ministry as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004. The 61-year-old monsignor faces a long prison term if convicted.

Documents presented to the jury last week show the church transferring priests to new parishes after they admitted abusing children, or fantasizing about it.

Phil Gaughan of Delaware says he was abused by a Philadelphia priest throughout his high school years. He calls the trial “a step in the right direction.”

CALIFORNIA

Turkey asks museums to return antiquities

LOS ANGELES The government of Turkey has asked the J. Paul Getty Museum and several other American museums to return artifacts that it believes were looted.

The Turkish government has contacted the Getty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Cleveland Museum of Art and Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection to present evidence that objects in their collections may have been illegally excavated from the country’s archaeological sites, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday. It has threatened to halt all loans of art to those institutions until they respond to the claims.

Turkey believes the antiquities were stolen and smuggled out of the country after the passage of a 1906 law that gave the state ownership of antiquities in the ground. It is the latest country after Italy and Greece to take an aggressive stance in reclaiming stolen antiquities.

“Turkey is not trying to start a fight,” Murat Suslu, Turkey’s director general for cultural heritage and museums, said. “We are trying to develop … cooperation and we hope these museums will also understand our point of view.”

None of the museums facing requests from Turkey would name the contested objects.

Getty spokesman Ron Hartwig said the museum has had ongoing talks with Turkey, and declined to get into specifics.

FLORIDA

2 fatally shot, 12 hurt outside funeral home

MIAMI Two people were fatally shot and 12 others were injured when gunmen opened fire on mourners outside a Miami funeral home, leaving a scene that one witness described as “a war zone,” authorities said Saturday.

It happened at about 9:35 p.m. Friday as services were taking place at the Funeraria Latina Emanuel, about 10 miles north of the city’s downtown, the Miami-Dade Police Department said.

Jaques Leonet, a photographer for the funeral home, said a wake for 21-year-old Marvin Andre was just finishing and people had begun walking outside. A crowd of mostly young adults had gathered in front of the funeral home when a car drove by and opened fire.

People screamed and took cover. Several were left bleeding on the ground. Others ran back into the church, Mr. Leonet said.

“It was like a war zone,” Mr. Leonet said.

When officers arrived at the scene, one man was dead and 13 others were injured. A second man died after being taken to the hospital. Police said the injured include a 5-year-old girl.

“I grabbed her so we could go and she was screaming,” Someta Etienne, the girl’s mother, told WSVN-TV.

Ms. Etienne thought her daughter was just scared, but then saw blood coming from the girl’s pants and realized she’d been shot in the leg. The child was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center, and authorities said Saturday she was in stable condition.

The names of the two deceased adults have not been released.

COLORADO

Sheriff notes problems with wildfire warnings

CONIFER The search for a Colorado woman missing in a wildfire has been suspended after rescuers found human remains in her burned home.

Jefferson County authorities say they don’t know yet whether the remains found Saturday are those of Ann Appel, reported missing since last Monday.

If the remains belong to Ms. Appel, she would become the third fatality in a wildfire that has scorched about 6 square miles southwest of Denver.

An elderly couple found dead in one of the more than two dozen homes damaged or destroyed by the fire were buried Friday.

Residents of about 180 homes remain evacuated.

Firefighters have contained more than 90 percent of the wildfire, which was apparently sparked by a state-controlled burn that sprang to life Monday in strong winds

CALIFORNIA

Coast Guard waits for better weather before rescue

SAN FRANCISCO U.S. Coast Guard crews are waiting for the weather to improve before sending a helicopter to take three sailors injured in a storm from a yacht about 400 miles off the California coast.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Caleb Critchfield says a Coast Guard cutter with a helicopter is within range of the yacht, but could not say when crews will be able to launch it.

A spokeswoman for the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race says the nearly 70-foot Geraldton Western Australia was hit by a large wave Saturday, knocking out its steering mounting.

Three crew members suffered back, rib and pelvic injuries.

An airplane already has dropped off medical supplies, and the yacht is proceeding under secondary steering toward San Francisco Bay.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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